GA 2010: Controversial Middle East policy paper gets amended, endorsed, adopted by GA

MINNEAPOLIS – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly overwhelmingly approved an amended report on conflict in the Middle East that aims at a careful balance between Palestinian and Israeli narratives of injustice and the path to peace.[caption id="attachment_22002" align="alignright" width="360"]MRTI’s Brian Ellison addresses the General Assembly. Photo by Erin Dunigan.[/caption]

Church commissioners voted 558-119 today (July 9), for a committee’s rewrite of a report that in its original form was widely perceived by some church members as pro-Palestinian and factually suspect.

          The General Assembly also endorsed, by a 418-210 vote, the Middle East Peacemaking Issues Committee’s recommendation that it denounce Caterpillar’s profit-making from sales of heavy equipment that Israel uses for non-peaceful purposes, including the destruction of Palestinian homes. Church committees considered divestment but advised against it — meaning that the church’s Board of Pensions and Foundation will continue to hold Caterpillar stock worth nearly $11 million, plus $685,000 in the company’s bonds.

          After revising the report on Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the 53-member Peacemaking Issues committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend it to the General Assembly.

GA 2010: Assembly directs BOP to provide benefits for same-gender partners

MINNEAPOLIS — After a long discussion, with many questions about the financial implications, the 219th General Assembly voted today (July 9) directing the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to provide benefits to the same-gender spouses and domestic partners of church employees and their children on the same basis as it provides benefits to employees who are married.

GA 2010: Understandings with Muslims, Jews stumble ahead

MINNEAPOLIS — Commissioners to the 219th General Assembly voted overwhelmingly today (July 8) to approve a document outlining theological understandings between Christians and Muslims, but they referred back to committee a document aiming to bring greater understanding between Christians and Jews.